Dave Iannone of Go Forward Media believes the story posted Friday on Glenn Usdin's FireTruckBlog.com about the impromptu fire truck parade Wednesday night in front of 11-year-old Kyle McGetrick's home in Barnegat, New Jersey is likely one of the most widely read stories ever within the fire service on the web (Dave, who started Firehouse.com, knows a bit what he is talking about in this area).
It isn't just the tens of thousands who have read the story. Hundreds of firefighters and their families and friends have sent personal messages to Kyle from across the country and around the world. Doctors say Kyle's leukemia can no longer be effectively treated. There are about 400 comments on FireTruckBlog.com from as far away as Australia and Afghanistan. There are also messages for Kyle on the Facebook pages of Firefighter Nation, Firefighters Worldwide, and Glenn's Command Fire Apparatus. Others were called to action through The Secret List. In addition, many of you have sent fire department patches to Kyle (Address – Barnegat Fire Company No.1, P.O. Box 539, Barnegat, New Jersey 08005).
We've been helping our friend Glenn deal with this sudden flood of comments and have been in touch with Gary Brown at Barnegat Fire Co. No. 1. Gary, who has been making sure the McGetricks see the messages, thanks all of those who have reached out to the family and the fire company. Gary also tells us Kyle's dad Gene, a member of the department, is overwhelmed by the support from the fire service in the United States and around the world.
Now comes word of an honor bestowed upon Kyle by the township where he lives. Graelyn Brashear at Barnegat-Ocean Acres Patch has been following this story and has the latest:
On Friday, Barnegat Mayor Jeffrey Melchiondo and township firefighters paid a visit to 11-year-old Kyle, a Barnegat boy who has been battling cancer for seven years, to issue a proclamation making the youngster the township's honorary mayor on Christmas – and forever mark the day in his honor.
It was the latest gesture in an outpouring of support for Kyle and his family this holiday season. Firefighters from all over the county formed a 92-vehicle convoy that rolled past the McGetrick's house earlier this week, and friends and well-wishers gathered Friday evening to sing carols in their neighborhood.
The proclamation, issued with Kyle, his parents, grandmother and sister looking on, states that because of Kyle's "extreme amount of courage and conviction…it is my wish to appoint this young man as Honorary Mayor of Barnegat Township on Christmas Day, December 25, 2011," and goes on to name the date as "Honorary Mayor Kyle McGetrick Day, to be forever remembered by all the residents of Barengat Township."
While Kyle's story has attracted an enormous amount of attention, we know that firefighters, paramedics and EMTS around the world, as always, have made a special effort to reach out to those suffering and in need during the holiday season (and throughout the year). Here are links to some other stories that have come to our attention. Feel free to send me more and I will add the links.
Also on STATter911 …
- Must see from FireTruckBlog.com: Impromptu parade to say goodbye to firefighter’s son. One last item on your Christmas list – send a patch to Kyle McGetrick. – December 24, 2011
- Another parade for Kyle: Saying goodbye to a brave 12-year-old boy who wanted to be a firefighter like his dad. – May 11, 2012
- Kyle McGetrick to be interviewed on fire service radio show. Barnegat, NJ boy to talk about the patches firefighters sent him from around the world. – January 23, 2012
- Courage for Kyle. Get your bracelet. Here’s an update from Barnegat, New Jersey. – January 29, 2012
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